Excursions into healing

I was having fun healing on a priest alt recently (disc priests are awesome!) and then decided that I should give it a go on my druid. I recently won the moonkin pvp gloves from a Baradin Hold run, and I had enough reputations at exalted to get a decent set of healing gear.

So, with some trepidation, I changed all my kitty talents to resto. I reconfigured Healbot, set up some mouse wheel macros and was ready to go. I’m still resisting enough that I left all my action bars the same so that there was minimal change for when I go back to my cat dps spec.

My first healing experience was in Blackrock Caverns on normal mode, which was pretty boring as a level 85. Even when the dps were stealing threat my throughput was high enough that a Rejuvenation was enough to deal with the problem in most cases. I did notice that I wasn’t using Wild Growth or Swiftmend much, and that when I did want to use them I sometimes found them on cooldown – which was very annoying.

After that run, I installed PowerAuras and put some icons on the screen to show me when Swiftmend and Wild Growth were available.

A few days later I decided to try healing again and queued up for a random normal instance with two guildies (they were both dps). We got Halls of Origination as the instance, and the first thing the tank said was, “Mind if we do this without CC?”. I had a sinking feeling at this point, and explained that I was new to healing. But I figured that we might as well give it a go, so said that too – we’d soon find out if CC was needed anyway…

The run proceeded pretty much as expected:

  • The tank ran as far ahead as possible, pulling mobs before I was in range.
  • The dps (yes, one of my guildies was a guilty party) did some tanking too.
  • Casters were left at range to smash me with spells while the tank handled the melee mobs.

Through all that I found that a little catchup at the start of each pull was required, but that druids are really good at keeping a whole party alive. A couple of Rejuvenations and a Wild Growth saved the day, with the usual Lifebloom and Nourish/Healing Touch on the tank.

In all honesty it was fun. The tank was very nice to me, complimenting me on my healing before tearing off into the next biggest pack of mobs he could find. I even got a whisper or two from the dps thanking me for healing them through some moments of silliness when they pulled multiple mobs from the tank. Nobody died, which I think was some kind of miracle, there were certainly a few close calls.

It would have been nice if the run had happened with the level of control that I like to use when tanking (1-2 mobs with crowd control and the rest never taking their eyes off the tank), but that’s not really needed for normals at the moment. I will say that I now appreciate the difference between a good and an average tank – only having one target to heal makes a massive difference!

My healing attitude is a pretty laid back one:

  • If someone is damaged, I’ll heal them.
  • If the tank is getting smashed, they get priority.
  • If a dps is tanking mobs, I try and heal them unless the tank is about to die.
  • I generally don’t complain about people taking damage – because it gives me something to do!
  • If someone dies I don’t feel bad about it 🙂 I just resurrect them afterwards.

With an average ilvl of 337 in my healing gear maybe I should try a heroic. I looked at upgrades and most of them are in heroics now. I still remember the look on my wife’s face the first time she healed a Cataclysm heroic – and I’m a little nervous.

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3 Responses to Excursions into healing

  1. Garnaph says:

    I found myself needing to heal a raid for the first time in Cata recently. I respecced, reforged all my boomkin gear, spent forever researching… then the raid hit, and I realised that Druids are immensely overpowered raid healers. Rejuv all, WG on CD, swiftmend when needed, and I beat my veteran holy priest and resto shammy on the meters, much to their disgust.

    The moment you need to heal a single target, however, it becomes a very different story. Last week I had to heal a DK who was tanking Nef, and that was a hair raising experience. Living seed is such a weak talent in a low crit environment, you keep 3 lifeblooms + rejuv up, spam nourish (HT when tank takes a dip), and often barely keep a tank up.

    Short version : try find yourself a nice laid back raid healing position, and laugh as the other healers cry at how easily you out heal them XD

    • Antony says:

      Yeah, a druid’s ability to heal multiple targets is very impressive.

      I tanked Shadowfang Keep on heroic last night and my wife healed it on her druid. When we were fighting Baron Ashbury one of the dps interrupted Stay of Execution way too early and the whole party had about 10k health. Within about 10 seconds she had managed to heal me to full and the rest of the party to 80%. There was a little muttering from the other side of the room though 🙂

      I also healed H HoO last night and found that healing through some aoe was pretty trivial. The aoe that Rajh does was almost a non-issue, and that’s certainly not the impression that I had of it when I was tanking – I thought healers were working much harder!

  2. Eaosluvchild says:

    Healing idiots in heroics is the best practice for hard healing fights in raids 🙂

    Plus as you say, if they die, you don’t feel bad.

    Anyway, its always the dps fault.

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